Offshore workers face numerous on-the-job hazards daily, especially with the heavy machinery they work alongside. Getting medical support in time can also pose a problem due to the remote nature of the job site. With many people from New Iberia, Louisiana, working on the Gulf Coast on barges, oil rigs, and ships, it’s important to understand the laws that protect workers.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries while working offshore, a New Iberia offshore injury lawyer at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help you file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf. Financial compensation is available for your emotional and physical trauma from the incident.
Maritime Safety Laws
Offshore workers are defined as someone working away from or a certain distance from the shore, typically at sea. The Louisiana Revised Statutes 34 § 340.21 allows each port to determine its own security and safety plan. The plans cover all facilities, ships, and employees connected to the port, so it is important to seek a lawyer familiar with your local ports.
Maritime workers are one of few groups not eligible for typical workers’ compensation. The main federal law called the Jones Act is most likely what will cover your compensation claims. However, there are other laws that you may also qualify for.
The Jones Act
The Merchant Marine Act, also known as the Jones Act (U.S. Code 46 § 30104), of 1920 is a federal law protecting offshore and maritime workers. Under this act, workers can file a formal lawsuit against their employers if they are injured on the job.
To be eligible under the Jones Act, you must qualify as a seaman by their definition: a crewmember of an offshore vessel on rivers, oceans, or offshore waters. The Jones Act also applies to gas and oil workers.
Offshore vessels include the following:
- Floating barges
- Diving vessels
- Cruise ships
- Cargo ships
- Fishing boats
- Other work-related water worthy crafts
Other Safety Laws
Other federal and state laws also govern compensation for workers sustaining injuries, such as the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). For wrongful deaths of a loved one, you may be able to make a claim under the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA).
These maritime safety laws are in place to ensure your employer provides a safe work environment. Any negligence that leads to an accident and subsequent injury is typically covered under law or statute. A New Iberia offshore injury attorney at our firm can help you determine which laws you can pursue a claim under.
For a free legal consultation with a offshore injury lawyer serving New Iberia, call (337) 777-7777
Are You Eligible for Compensation in Your Offshore Injury Case?
Besides qualifying as a seaman under the Jones Act, your accident must also result in a severe or permanent injury or disability. You could be eligible for compensation if your accident in the workplace resulted in one of these injuries or health-related issues:
- Head injuries
- Loss of mobility
- Broken bones
- Amputation of limbs or digits
- Occupational illnesses or diseases
- Toxic exposure
- Neck, back, or spinal injuries
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
Compensation You Can Pursue for an Offshore Workplace Injury
Based on the nature of your job and your injury, there are different types of damages you can seek compensation for, including:
- Past and future medical care costs, including doctor visits, surgical procedures, diagnostic testing, medication, physical therapy, and medical equipment
- Lost wages during the period where your injury and recovery process prevented you from working
- Pain and suffering due to the mental, emotional, and physical toll of the accident and your resulting injuries
If you are making a claim due to your loved one’s wrongful death, you may be eligible to receive compensation for these expenses and non-economic losses:
- Their medical care
- Funeral and burial costs
- Awards for loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
New Iberia Offshore Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Offshore Injury Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file a formal civil lawsuit. Typically, personal injury lawsuits must be filed within one year of the incident date, and employers to be notified within one month. However, this timeframe is different under maritime law.
The Jones Act statute of limitations is covered under U.S. Code 46 § 30106. It states that individuals must file a formal civil action within three years of the incident. However, not all offshore workers qualify under the Jones Act. An offshore injury lawyer from our firm serving New Iberia and all of Louisiana can help ensure your case complies with the statutory deadline.
Filing a Claim Under the Jones Act
There are multiple steps involved in filing a claim. First, you and your lawyer will confirm that you are eligible under the Jones Act and can prove your status as a seaman.
Additional steps to filing a claim can include:
- Filing a claim with your employer’s insurance company
- Providing proof of your damages and injuries
- Showing that your injuries were a result of negligence by your employer or negligence by a crewmember
Even if your situation doesn’t fall under the Jones Act, other laws and statutes protect offshore workers. Your lawyer can explain what laws apply to your circumstance.
Things to Prepare
The severity of your accident will determine your compensation levels. However, the evidence you can prepare will also influence your claim. When possible, make sure to collect these items where available:
- A copy of the accident report
- Notes and contact details from witnesses of your accident
- Medical bills related to your injury or accident
- Medical reports linking your injury to the accident
- Out-of-pocket receipts, including medication and transportation expenses
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Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers for Help with Your Offshore Injury Case
Offshore injuries can impact your life significantly, and the legal processes can be confusing. However, you don’t have to navigate the situation alone and take on the financial burdens that compensation can relieve.
From negotiating with insurance companies to court representation, we are here to assist you. Let us help get the compensation you are due while you focus on recovering. Learn more about your legal options by calling (337) 777-7777 today so we can get started on your case. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so you owe us nothing unless we secure a settlement or court award for you.